Ruslan Menaus
ruslan.jpg
Ruslan Menaus
Race Longtooth Shifter
Heroic Class Paladin 5
Alignment Good
Patron Deity Selûne
Player Jim Stadalnikas
Ruslan Menaus

"In the light of the Moon shall you be protected: May your travels take you far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear the darkness: as Selune's grace will brighten your path." (Prayer to the Moon Maiden)

By day each soul must walk within its shadow. Only night can make us whole again.

Appearance

Ruslan has dark green eyes and keeps his dark brown hair "high and tight". He maintains a full beard that he keeps trimmed at 1-1/4 inches long at all times. He has tattoos covering most of his upper body, depicting passages of scripture and symbols that belie his dedication to the "Moon Maiden": the goddess Selûne. While once a mark of great pride, his tattoos now faintly glow a blue hue when they are in the moonlight, a reminder of his curse.

Personality

Ruslan's devotion to Selûne has consumed a good portion of his life, from the religious symbols and verses he has tattooed on his body to the devotions he whispers every night, morning, before every meal, and at the beginning of combat. He has become overly repentant recently since he has been transformed into a shifter and prays for forgiveness at all opportunities. He now fears he has become a monster and dreads that one day he might lose control. It is this never ending quest for forgiveness that drives him to live altruistically and only accept what he needs to survive from others.

Rarely does Ruslan rush to action, instead preferring to assess the situation and strike strategically. In combat, his strength forces his foes to focus on him, else they be cut in half by his menacing waraxe. Ruslan also has a particularly strong devotion to Selûne, which allows him fight with a dogged fanaticism as long as he believes in Selûne support of the cause for which he is spilling blood.

Early History

Ruslan was born into a family of ranchers in the Sunset Vale southwest of Cormyr near the Reaching Woods. His family ran a ranch that bred Cormyrian Destriers, noble beasts of burden and war. Because of their proximity to the Reaching Woods, Ruslan's family often hired elf and half-elf ranch hands. Leveraging the elves' penchant for nature and learning everything they could from them, the ranch quickly became one of the best in the vale.

Ruslan grew up learning life as a ranch hand and worked closely with rangers, foresters, and lumberjacks. It was through these talks that he learned of Selûne, the goddess of the moon. He was fascinated by the stories they would tell: how she created the world alongside her sister Shar, and how she fought to save it from her sister's tyranny. In time, Ruslan became so enamored with the religion that he dedicated himself to Selûne as soon as he was old enough to leave the ranch. His parents, while disappointed he would not stay to run the ranch, were happy to see him follow his heart, as they had seven other children who could inherit the ranch.

Ruslan had heard of a temple to Selûne hidden deep in the High Forest to the north and set out to find it. After several months of travelling, Ruslan arrived at the temple and asked to be initiated into the faith and to become an instrument of the Moon Maiden's will. The Oracles of the Moon proceeded to put Ruslan through a battery of examinations to determine his strengths so that he could serve the Moon Maiden in the highest possible capacity. His greatest potential, they saw, would be to serve as a member of the Silvered Bulwark, an order of the Selunite church dedicated to hunting down dangerous lycanthropes.

Ruslan completed the joining rituals and took a new surname to show his dedication to his goddess: he was now Ruslan Menaus of the Silvered Bulwarks.

Recent History

The Silvered Bulwarks were led by Commander Gerrad Moonblade, a half-elf who had earned his command by showing great patience and wisdom in action. He was a merciful man who only killed lycanthropes who had become feral or who had refused help in controlling their affliction. His Lieutenant, Erathiss Silverstar, was however very untrusting of all lycanthropes. She was often chastened by Gerrad for being too untrusting, and unwilling to give the creatures a chance to prove they could be saved.

In Ruslan's second year as a member of the Silvered Bulwark, a particularly devious lycanthrope had promised to deliver Commander Gerrad a Black Blood cell that was strengthening its numbers by infecting travelers with lycanthropy or devouring them as prey in their High Hunt rituals. This werewolf turned out to be the cult's bloodmaster, and had lured Gerrad to become the quarry in the next High Hunt. With Gerrad gone, Erathiss led a rescue attempt, but by the time the had found the tribe it was too late for Gerrad, all that remained was his armor and weapons, coated in blood and damaged by what was surely a great battle.

When Erathiss became the commander of the Silvered Bulwarks, the outlook of the afflicted changed overnight. Erathiss preached that all lycanthropes would eventually lose control, and to truly protect against dangerous lycanthropes, it was their duty to hunt them all down. After what had happened to Gerrad, they were all far too willing to accept this new philosophy, and under Commander Erathiss the Silvered Bulwark began what they called "the Great Purge."

The Great Purge

The Great Purge was an aggressive campaign by the Silver Bulwark to hunt down and eradicate Lycanthropy, starting with the destruction of all of Malar's followers. The campaign was hard fought and saw significant casualties on both sides. During the siege of a Black Blood encampment in the kings woods in cormyr Ruslan was captured alive and brought before the bloodmaster. In order to punish him the bloodmaster began a complex arcane ritual designed to turn Ruslan into a new strain of Lycanthrope, he would have to live as the thing he hunted, "I hope others show you the kindness you have shown us" Just as the ritual was nearing its completion, the ceremony was interrupted by a great explosion of blue flame, the spellplague had infected the ritual, killing everyone there but Ruslan, the target of the arcane ritual itself.

The ritual twisted by the spellplague, Ruslan was no longer Human, but he was not a lycanthrope either, he was something in between. Moreover the tattoos he had gotten to show his devotion to the Goddess Selune now would glow with a bluish tint when exposed to moonlight, a reminder of his new spellscarred life.

Ruslan could no longer return to the Silvered Bulwarks, he was something they would assuredly hunt to protect others, but he did not feel very different, no animalistic urges to kill or hunt, just that when he would push himself to his limits he would begin to physically change to a more bestial version of himself. He had practiced hiding his affliction, he still looked remarkably human most of the time, and his suit of armor covered up most of his body, as was its design. He even got used to wearing a full helm even though it diminished his vision.

Currently…

His previous cause no longer an option, Ruslan joined the Purple Dragon Knights of Cormyr, it gave him a place to hide, but allowed him to still pursue protecting people and generally doing good. His secretive nature did not win him many friends within the Purple Dragons however. During a particularly intense battle Ruslan charged into a full company of enemy soldiers to rescue a fellow wounded soldier from them as they surrounded him, in order to make it there in time he pushed himself to his limits, while this allowed him to save his comrade, some of the men who witnessed it also began talking about a strange glow that seemed to envelope him, that he was cursed by the spell plague.

His fellow soldiers no longer trusted him and he still needed answers as to why Selune still listened to his prayers even though he had become an abomination. He requested a transfer to Eveningstar, to see Tessaril Winter in hopes that she could help him to understand what had happened. She was both a fellow Selunite, and strongly gifted in the Arcane.

Upon reaching Eveningstar Ruslan had learned of Lady Winter's disappearance, the overthrow of Lord Cormaeril by the Ebon League, and the the unrest of the past few months. Hearing that the Ebon League was going to investigate a lead on where Tessaril Winter was, he decided to ride with them on their journey.

Equipment

- Battlecrazed Waraxe +1
- Ebon Plate Armor +1
- Heavy Shield of Deflection
- Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1
- Belt of Vigor
- Symbol of Scorned Fate +1

PCs
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The Silver Company

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